What Happens When You Mix Kratom and Alcohol?
Many people already know that you shouldn’t mix drugs and alcohol, but unfortunately, this doesn’t stop countless users from doing it. This potentially deadly combination lands thousands of people in emergency rooms every year. Kratom, although a fairly new substance in the United States, is just one of the many drugs that can have negative effects when mixed with alcohol. But to better understand the dangers of mixing kratom and alcohol, it’s important to first understand the side effects of each individual substance.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is a tropical plant in the coffee family that grows in Southeast Asia, where its leaves are used as a painkiller and anti-diarrhea medicine. It’s also used as an herbal supplement that increases energy levels. The leaves can be eaten raw or pulverized, brewed as a tea or made into tablets, capsules or liquids. It was only recently introduced to the U.S. as a recreational drug, but there is no legitimate medical use for it. As of May 2016, kratom has been made illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin.
One of the unique things about kratom is that its effects vary, depending on the amount that’s consumed. In low doses, it acts as a stimulant, but in higher doses, it acts as a sedative. The alkaloids mitragynine (an opioid agonist) and 7-hydroxymitragynine in kratom are what give it these properties. Although this drug can act like an opioid, it doesn’t lead to the same potentially lethal side effects of opioids, such as morphine.
There are varying perspectives of the nature of kratom, in terms of its benefits versus its possible risks. Some people claim it can relieve pain, treat depression and anxiety and help with opioid addictions. Others use it as a mild stimulant for manual labor. However, more research is required to fully understand the benefits and positive effects of kratom.
What are the Side Effects of Kratom and Alcohol?
More research and clinical trials are necessary to completely understand the effects of kratom on the body. What is known about kratom are the short-term and long-term effects (positive and negative), which vary depending on the dose. These include:
- Decreased appetite (low dose)
- Increased energy and alertness (low dose)
- Increased sociability (low dose)
- Drowsiness (moderate to high dose)
- Cough suppression (moderate to high dose)
- Pain reduction (moderate to high dose)
- Reduction in opioid withdrawal symptoms (moderate to high dose)
- Psychosis (high dose)
- Anorexia/weight loss (high dose)
- Hyperpigmentation (high dose)
In addition to these short-term effects, kratom can result in several negative side effects comparable to those of other opiates, including:
- Tremors or loss of motor coordination
- Tiny pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
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Dangers of Mixing Kratom and Alcohol
Although there isn’t currently enough conclusive evidence about the dangers of mixing kratom and alcohol, examining the properties of these substances individually provides valuable information about the possible risks of this combination. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it inhibits the function of the central nervous system. It also blocks messages from nerve receptors to the brain. As a result, a person’s perceptions, movements and senses are affected. Kratom, on the other hand, is a stimulant and sedative.
Combining a depressant with a stimulant or with a sedative, in general, can be dangerous. With that in mind, it’s best to simply avoid mixing kratom and alcohol.
Treatment for Kratom and Alcohol
Do you suspect that you might be abusing or addicted to kratom, and you’re also struggling with alcohol abuse? Or, perhaps you’re struggling with only one of these substances. Whichever category you fall in, help is available for you. The Recovery Village combines top-of-the-line medical care with wellness programs and holistic therapy to treat a wide range of substance abuse cases. This includes kratom and alcohol abuse. We offer safe and secure treatment facilities throughout the U.S., each of which is equipped with various alcohol and drug treatment programs. Each center is also staffed with compassionate, professional staff members who all share the same mission of helping patients get treated for their disorders.
Give us a call today at the number below to speak with an intake coordinator, whether you’re seeking help for yourself or for a loved one. We look forward to providing the guidance you’re seeking and helping you or your loved one down the road to recovery.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.